Wednesday, October 28, 2009

An amazing aspect, to me, of dialogue in general and talking via mediated asynchronous spaces in particular is that our normal and typical standards and expectations for communication are generally upheld. And these expectations are a complex lot. I have been reading recently in the area of social identity theory, social categorization theory, and optimal differentiation theory. These theories all have in common the academic study of how, when, and even why our identities and behaviors change and morph across group and social boundaries. How am I in my 'in group' and how is that related to how I 'am' in relation to other groups? How do I talk to my spouse and how do I talk to a blog? Where is the 'me' in these conversations? I come back to the main principle of ecological psychology - the affordance. The affordance is (loosely put) an opportunity for action. It is a way of talking about the very postmodern notion that who and what I am is as much the result of my extended environmental self as it is my compacted personal private self. And so I speak through the twists and turns of these relationships.